University receives accreditation status for sport management


Courtesy of Jill Sharp

Members of the sport management program pose for a picture while on a field trip a Houston Astros baseball game.

In late September, the university’s sport management undergraduate degree program received accreditation from the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation.

The faculty members within the degree program applied for candidacy status with COSMA in 2012, and the accrediting body’s Board of Commissioners officially granted the accreditation this semester.

Jill Sharp, sport management instructor and program coordinator, explained some of the details of the accreditation process.

“The COSMA, the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation, who we received accreditation through, based on a self-study, the site-visit team report and written responses, their Board of Commissioners determined that the Bachelor of Science in Sport Management will be accredited or that is in compliance with all COSMA principles, which ultimately gave us accreditation,” stated Sharp.

After receiving candidacy status and before COSMA could conduct the site visit, the faculty had to write a strategic plan, an outcomes assessment plan and operational effectiveness goals.

Ashley Bowers, associate professor of sport management and graduate studies coordinator, further detailed the process, describing how COSMA conducts the site visit portion.

“During the site visit, they talk to students, they interview administration, they talk with, of course, us as faculty, they look over our outcomes assessments, our rubrics, things that we do for students in terms of what we offer them, organizations in terms of the Sport Management Association and field trips and things like that,” explained Bowers. “They compile a report and then we are actually offered a decision.”

Sharp described how the accreditation status is beneficial to the sport management degree program, as well as its impact on students and faculty.

“This gives us a lot of resources, and we’re constantly improving the program, which makes us as faculty members better at teaching the information, and ultimately, we feel like it will help us better prepare our students because one of the things they put in place is an advisory board,” expressed Sharp. “So, we have professionals who are in the field of sport management who are giving us feedback on how to better prepare our students.”

Sharp believes the program was already great, but that the accreditation will enhance it even further.

“Partly, we’re excited because it’s been such a long process, and we feel like we’ve achieved something great here, but I personally am just looking forward to making our program even better than it is already,” shared Sharp.

Bowers mentioned that Joseph Sabin was hired this semester as an assistant professor and third faculty member with the sport management program. She described how his employment aids the program’s accreditation.

“Joe will be a tremendous asset because he has some expertise particularly in the graduate area and finance that we’re able to do, and that was attractive to our accrediting body,” said Bowers. “He wasn’t here to actually work on the project, but I have no doubt that, now that he’s here, that he will definitely be a great asset to our team.”

Charity Bryan, department head for Kinesiology and Health studies, expressed her sentiments regarding the program’s accreditation achievement and the work put into the process by KHS faculty and staff.

“Obviously, it’s a huge honor for our program, and it’s reflective of a significant amount of work  by the sport management faculty and the other KHS faculty that helped to ensure that we got this accreditation,” said Bryan. “It speaks to the quality of our program, which we already knew we had quality, but this just gives some credibility and credence to the program and the market that we are meeting standards and doing outstanding things.”

Bryan believes this recognition is impactful for the entire department as well as the individual degree program.

“It certainly brings a level of prestige not only to the sport management major but also to KHS as a whole,” shared Bryan. “I think it gives us something to be very proud of and to continue working towards to maintain that accreditation, which we’ll always do. I think, as a whole, it really just gives us another shining light in terms of an accomplishment for KHS.”